BBC4

Amnesia rave, Coventry, 1991. Image: Tony Davis / Pymca / Shutterstock

I agree with Jeremy Deller – the birth of acid house was a revolution that changed Britain

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Jeremy Deller’s Everybody in the Place: an Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 (BBC4) began with some footage of kids queuing…

The Beatles perform in Liverpool prior to signing their first recording contract: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and original drummer Pete Best. Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The greatest Beatle? Pete Best

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Which of the Beatles would you most like to have been? Not either of the dead ones, presumably. Nor the…

Doors drummer John Densmore and Police percussionist Stewart Copeland. Photo: BBC / Somethin’ Else Sound Directions Ltd / Nico Wasserman

According to BBC4, what was one of the ‘most important inventions in modern music’?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Here’s a tricky quiz question for you. What word completes this sentence from a BBC4 documentary on Friday: ‘The world…

Jessica Biel as Cora Tannetti. [Photo: BBC / Iron Ocean / Universal Cable Productions LLC]

The Sinner is for hormonal teenage girls’ insatiable appetite for the sordid and sick

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Don’t watch The Sinner (originally on Netflix; now on BBC4) because, despite your better judgment, you’ll only get addicted after…

Kazuo Ishiguro winning the Booker Prize in 1989. Photo: Alex Lentati/ Associated Newspapers/ REX/ Shutterstock

An enjoyably gossipy whisk through half a century of fierce rivalries and bruised egos

20 October 2018 9:00 am

At the beginning of Barneys, Books and Bust Ups: 50 Years of the Booker Prize (BBC4), Kirsty Wark’s voiceover promised…

I had no idea how fascinating rubbish could be: The Secret Life of Landfill reviewed

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Not the most beguiling of titles, I admit, but The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History (BBC4, Thursday) was…

Exhilaratingly original, C4’s Flowers is much more than just a ‘dark comedy’

16 June 2018 9:00 am

On Wednesday, BBC Four made an unexpectedly strong case that the human body is a bit rubbish. Our ill-designed spines,…

A non-sniggering look at the latest developments in the lucrative sex-robot market

2 December 2017 9:00 am

This week on Channel 4, we watched a cheery 58-year-old American engineer called James going on a first date. He…

The ties that bound us

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Only Neil MacGregor could do it — take us in a single thread from a blackened copper coin, about the…

Playing it safe

5 October 2017 2:00 pm

BBC1’s latest Sunday-night drama The Last Post, about a British military base in Aden in 1965, feels like a programme…

Isn’t it puke-inducing being lectured about poverty by millionaire comics?

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Going Forward (BBC4, Thursdays) is a BBC comedy about the continuing adventures of Kim Wilde, the fat, cynical but lovable…

David Attenborough used to steal the animals he found in the jungle and take them home

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Let me start this week with an admittedly hard quiz question: in 1954, how did the sudden illness of Jack…

BBC4’s Bob Geldof on WB Yeats was one of the best literary documentaries I’ve seen

9 April 2016 9:00 am

In recent years there’s been a fashion for arts documentaries presented by celebs rather than boring old experts — presumably…

How does anyone keep up with all the good stuff out there on TV?

19 March 2016 9:00 am

‘We have a problem. Yes. At the wind farm.’ Any conspiracy thriller with lines like that has definitely got my…

Scandi noir reduces you to an exquisitely suicidal state

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Some things I have learned about Iceland after watching six episodes of Trapped (BBC4, Saturdays). 1. They seem to feel…

Victorian music-hall comedy wasn’t funny. Why pretend it was?

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Let’s start this week with a joke: ‘You know Mrs Kelly? Do you know Mrs Kelly? Her husband’s that little…

Was BBC1’s Rooney show more scripted reality than documentary?

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Close to the Edge (BBC4, Tuesday) feels very much like an idea conceived during a particularly good night in the…

James Delingpole discovers the fons et origo of indie music

3 October 2015 8:00 am

I really hadn’t meant to write a postscript to last week’s column on my dark Supertramp past. But then along…

What’s the point of BBC Music?

29 August 2015 9:00 am

To Radio 2 to meet Bob Shennan, controller of the BBC’s most popular radio station (the station attracts one third…

A demonstrator is arrested during an anti-nuclear protest at Greenham Common air base in 1983. (Photo: D. Jones/Express/Getty)

All that postwar anxiety about being vaporised by a nuclear bomb was a complete waste of emotion

8 August 2015 9:00 am

When I was growing up in the 1970s, my three main fears were: being blown up by the IRA; being…

W1A reviewed: so pitch-perfect as to be profoundly depressing

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Ever since the days of Tony Hancock, many of the best British sitcoms — from Dad’s Army to Fawlty Towers,…

Why James Delingpole is addicted to Pointless

4 April 2015 8:00 am

Ever since Boy got back from school my work schedule has fallen to pieces. Every few minutes, just when I’ve…

The Great European Disaster on BBC4 reviewed: propaganda worthy of Leni Riefenstahl

7 March 2015 9:00 am

My favourite bit of The Great European Disaster (BBC4, Sunday) was the lingering shot that showed golden heads of corn…

Critical on Sky1 reviewed: a new medical drama where everyone radiates an unusual degree of competence and concern

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Sky1’s new hospital drama Critical (Tuesday) can’t be accused of making a timid start. Within seconds, an urgent request had…

Rambo wannabe, Matthew VanDyke: ‘Everybody wants cool stuff they can show their friends on Facebook’

Arabian Motorcycle Adventures review: enthralling and constantly surprising

7 February 2015 9:00 am

There were great numbers of young men who had never been in a war and were consequently far from unwilling…